Bacterial bronchitis can arise in two forms, namely acute bronchitis and chronic bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis is the kind that one should worry more about than acute, since the symptoms and condition of this illness can be quite serious. If ignored and not addressed in time, one's illness can escalate into pneumonia which is a far worse health problem to deal with. When bronchitis takes place, the bronchi's membranes become inflamed, and is caused not just by bacteria but other illness causing agents or viruses. If medicated and treated in time, bronchitis can be easily cleared.
Bacterial bronchitis is very much contagious. The bacteria can spread either by direct contact or indirectly by touching items of the infected person or surfaces where the bacteria may have landed from the patient's coughs or sneezing bouts. The difference between acute and chronic bronchitis, is that the former condition is followed by flu-like symptoms, lasting not more than 10 days in most cases.
Without proper care like staying away from smoke/fumes, you are likely to develop a much serious case of this problem. The latter condition (chronic bronchitis) is brought on by secretions made by the bronchi, where coughs usually bring up a lot of phlegm, lasting up to about four months, with recurrent episodes of this problem over the years.
Bacterial Bronchitis Causes
The causes of bacterial bronchitis can be brought on by bacteria like brodetella pertussis, mycoplasma pnuemoniae and chlamydia pnuemoniae. Here are the risk factors and causes involved for those who are prone to suffering from this condition.
- Chronic sinusitis
- Inhaling smoke either from air pollutants or first hand smoking.
- Second hand smoking.
- Being exposed to chemicals or harmful agents like in some industries that constantly have dangerous particles in the air.
Bacterial Bronchitis Symptoms
The bacterial bronchitis symptoms need to be immediately diagnosed by a doctor to check for signs of an infection when it comes to bacteria based bronchitis. Be on the alert for these, and consult a doctor on what is needed for immediate treatment.
- Muscle pain
- Mucus expelled while coughing
- Mild fever
- Back pain
- Dry cough (initial stage)
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Discomfort in the chest area.
- In some cases lips can turn blue from the lack of oxygen.
- Body parts like the feet, ankles and legs start to swell.
- Breathing difficulties
Bacterial Bronchitis Treatment
So for how long is bronchitis contagious? It can spread to others around usually during the first week of its onset where it doesn't become quite as contagious from week two. Just get treatment done immediately if you have someone in your home who's sick or if you've associated with an infected person.
Those suffering from bacterial bronchitis should.
- Take Tylenol for the fever, where aspirin is only prescribed to adults and not children.
- Drink plenty of water or fresh fruit/vegetable juice.
- Rest as often as possible and avoid going outdoors for fear of inhaling something that could aggravate your condition.
- Avoid smoking or being around those who do.
- Use a steamer or humidifier while taking a shower to lessen the extremity of symptoms.
- Have a prescribed cough medicine.
- Take gemiflaoxacin mesylate, which is meant for drug resistant bacterial bronchitis.
Bacterial bronchitis can be easily taken care of effectively by noticing the progression and recurrent patterns of the signs. Be sure to have yourself checked out regularly for any serious complications due to bronchitis, and do not ignore the symptoms once they set in. Viral bronchitis is an all-together different kind of condition where viruses cause the condition to escalate. It is important to stay clear from anything that would further take these conditions to a serious level, and it is best to stay indoors when infected with either bacterial or virus based bronchitis.